Search our records : Harold Frederick Ralph

Surname: Ralph
Forename(s): Harold Frederick
Service Number: G/2904
Force: Army
Unit: 8th Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Date of Death: 25th September 1915
Where Buried / Commemorated: Loos Memorial
Civilian Occupation: Chauffeur
Parents: Frederick and Caroline Ralph
Home address:

Harold Ralph was born in Deal, Kent, in January 1891.  His parents, Frederick and Caroline, were also born in Deal, however by the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Sandwich, where they lived in the Lord Warden Inn in New Street. 

At the time of the 1911 census Harold, then aged 20, was living with his parents at the Lord Warden, and was described as a ‘chauffeur / motor bus driver’.  His father gave his occupation as ‘licensed victualler and job master’. 

On 22nd January 1909 Harold joined a local Territorial unit, the 3rd Home Counties (Cinque Ports) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, as a driver. He attended their summer training camps at Lydd in Kent in 1909, 1911 and 1912, but at some point after the camp in June 1912 he appears to have moved to Beer.  We know this because in the weeks before his marriage on 9th September 1914, the banns were read in both Sandwich and Beer, and Harold was described as a ‘bachelor of this parish’ in the banns read in Beer.  He married Sarah Arnold, who was from Sandwich.

Harold seems to have left his Territorial artillery unit when he moved to Beer, as he later joined first the East Kent Regiment, and then the 8th Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), with whom he sailed from Folkestone on the night of 31st August 1915, arriving at Boulogne at midnight. 

Less than a month later, on 25th September, Harold’s battalion fought in the Battle of Loos, and he was killed.  He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, which carries the names of over 20,000 men.